Dreaming Is Free
It's a feeling of amazement when you wake up and realize that what you dreamt of was actually coming through. Many people wished and dreamt of winning a lottery prize once in their lifetime. The money could be used to settle debt, and help friends and relatives. Some may even spend lavishly to change their lifestyle. It all depends on one's decision when the golden opportunity finally arrives. This was the scenario of the protagonist of this story.
Lamar was lucky enough to win millions of dollars in the Powerball lottery. But life the life he dreamed for himself was about to end before it began.
The Story Of Lamar Walker
Lamar was born and raised in the slums of Statesville, North Carolina. His life hadn't been easy because there wasn't a lot of money in the house. He had to look for various ways to make ends meet. If he had been told that he would win a lottery some years later, he wouldn't have believed it. He was a hustler and it didn't seem like the struggle was ending soon.
His Luck Was About To Change
Something amazing happened to Lamar when he was thirty-four years of age. He had endured many struggles and grievances before he attained that age. He never knew that his luck was about to fall apart. He remembered a word his mum usually tells him "the same thing that makes you laugh, will make you cry". This was something Lamar was about to experience.
It All Started With A Special Ticket
One fateful morning, Lamar woke up, dressed up neatly, and hopped into his car. He stopped by the nearest gas station to refill his cylinder. As he waited for his cylinder to be refilled, he went straight to where a group of guys was playing lotto. He didn't gamble but felt moved to do so. He bought a lottery ticket and tried his luck. He had almost forgotten about the lottery he had played until a few weeks later, he received an unexpected email.
He Didn't Expect It At All
As he went through his email, he was shocked for a moment, still holding his phone and glancing through the message popping up on his phone screen. "Is this really true, am I dreaming, or is it a scam?" he continued wondering as he placed his left hand on his waist, then sat down comfortably and read through the message again, this time gently. Reading the words bit by bit till he understood the message clearly.
He Was Finally Rich
Lamar didn't remember buying a lottery ticket, later he realized that he had bought a ticket some weeks earlier but he still couldn't believe his imagination of winning a lottery. He couldn't believe that he was becoming rich despite his struggle over the years and all his debts and worries were finally over. He was so overwhelmed that he rolled himself on the floor. But it was quite unfortunate that when something seemed to be true, it usually is. Lamar did not know at that time that more problems awaited him.
Trying To Get Paid
He thought of the possibilities of his win, and how he would spend the money. He still had lots of decisions ahead of him determining how he would spend the prize the way he wanted. Unknown to him, disaster was brewing.
A Crucial Decision
He had to decide if he wanted to take the prize in a lump sum of $800,000 after taxes or have the millions paid spreading on a regular payment to cover up to 30 years. Lamar went for the first option, he couldn't wait to get the money in the palm of his hand because he had already made plans on how he would enjoy it. Unluckily for him, someone from his past, along with the court of justice had other plans for him.
People Were Still Hounding Him
News about Lamar's lottery win began to travel. People started calling and hounding him for money. He realized how fickle people could be. During his worst struggle trying to keep up, these people abandoned him. Now they wanted a share of his win. He started seeing the reason why people choose to accept the lottery anonymously. He started losing his patience with other people. A call he received one afternoon was his last straw.
Following The Money
Lamar couldn't recall his extended family and friends calling him as much in the past. "I never used to get calls from friends and families, people tend to ghost you when things aren't going well", he said. His phone rang, and when he picked up, it was a call from his cousin Mike. He became angry.
He Lost His Cool
Mike calling him at that moment was something he wasn't expecting. He hadn’t heard from him in years, and suddenly because of the lottery win, he wanted to know if they could hang out together soon. Suddenly everyone wanted to visit or meet with him. Lamar was furious about their behavior and when he had spoken with his cousin, he snapped. Of course, he would later regret his actions. "I lost it, man, I shouldn't have reacted that way, I actually told my own cousin to get lost. What was I thinking?" he kept wondering about his actions for a while.
Money Had Changed Him
Lamar regretted his past. His old behavior with his ex-wife, Elisha, would come back to bite him in the worst way. Lamar had been working on turning a new leaf for a while now. He knew he had made many mistakes in the past and never wanted to repeat them again. Getting mad at his cousin didn't solve anything, that much he knew. He felt that the lottery winnings had changed him and it wouldn't be for long.
Ex-Wife Steps In
One of his toughest past experiences was his long and difficult separation from his ex-wife Elisha, who had four children for him. Lamar and Elisha got divorced for over two years but still, their disagreement continued.
Lamar Divorce Story
His difficult financial situation made it hard for him to pay any alimony or child support. When Elisha knew about his fortune, she filed a suit to get what she was entitled to. One may feel that it was only fair for him to pay what he owed his ex-wife and children. But there was more to the story.
Their Fights Were Too Much
Lamar and Elisha's separation had been long and difficult. On occasion, their disagreement and argument were too complex to be solved by dialogue. Elisha had accused Lamar of trashing some of her goods and properties during one of their fights while they were still going through the process of divorce.
Lamar Had Filmed Everything
Elisha was very sincere with the accusations. Lamar was found guilty of crashing a car registered to Elisha during a big argument. He threw some of her jewelry into the Bogue sound lagoon. His action over Elisha's property was not difficult to prove that his action was done deliberately. The worst part was that while committing the offense, he had filmed the whole scene and uploaded the video on social media.
He Was Found Guilty
Since the videos were already online, it was not difficult for the court to find him guilty of these offenses. He was ordered to pay for the items damaged. In addition to that, he was asked to pay the missed alimony and child support. Lamar now owed Elisha a sum of $770,000 and based on calculations he was left with just $30,000.
He Protested Against The Sentence
Lamar wasn't happy with the court decision. He launched a campaign on social media to protest against the court action against him. However, he soon realized that it was best for him to accept the judge's decision to pay his wife and children what they deserved even if it cost him all his winning fortune.
It Wasn't That Bad
Lamar had decided to just settle for his losses and be grateful he came out a little ahead. Despite his struggles, he realized that having $30,000 left wasn't the worst situation to be in. It wasn't easy for him to bear all the losses because it was a bitter experience, he confronted himself knowing fully well that his children were now taken care of. However, this made him think about his future.
Where to from here
Lamar was happy that his children were living a better life now. He knew what it felt like to struggle and wanted a happy life for them. While they were being taken care of, he still had to think of his future. "The cost of living isn't getting any lower, and the leftover money won't last forever. I guess I have to think of something else to do", he said in an interview.
He Needed A New Start
The action of his relatives and friends who kept trying to get money from him after his lottery win made Lamar bitter. He changed his number just to avoid more problems and kept to himself. At his age, he knew he wasn't getting younger and decided to act fast to secure his future. Being aware of scammers around, he was very conscious of the leftover money.
A Difficult Road
A Fish Out Of Water
Having not been in the position to explore opportunities to invest. He didn't know how global the world was. Cryptocurrency and Forex trading opportunities were just right at his feet but he was scared to engage in one of these. He didn't know how it worked and was afraid of being scammed. He really needed someone who could be of help to him but wasn't sure of whom to trust.
A Familiar Place
The longer Lamar sat with the money in his account, the more afraid he got, the more he thought of wasteful spending. One day, as he was walking through his childhood neighborhood, he spotted a building which was quite familiar to him. He knew at that moment that he could get help from there. At that moment, he realized that there was still someone who he could trust.
An Old Friend
Despite how rough Lamar's childhood was, he could still remember that there was a particular place his mother ran countless times when things got desperate for her. As he entered the building he saw the person he was looking for immediately at a glance. It had been years but Lamar could still recognize him because he still had the same kind look on his face but he kept wondering if the old friend could recognize him too.
He Was Home
It was an old church where Lamar's mum took him to when he was still a child. He couldn't believe that the church was still run by Pastor David Holmes. Lamar was shocked that the pastor could still recognize him. Lamar was welcomed with open arms and began having some strange feelings.
A New Start
It was a sense of feeling being home again. Lamar had been struggling on his own for a long time and had forgotten how the church had provided comfort for his family in the past. He knelt before Pastor David and explained his situation. Pastor David decided to help. At that moment Pastor David told him that he knew who would put him through. To Lamar, it seemed like the brightest side of life had just begun.
Pastor David kept to his promise, he introduced Lamar to Mr. Morrison, a senior member of the church. Mr. Morrison worked in finance and made use of his experience to guide Lamar. After helping Lamar set up his portfolio, Lamar had a savings account which could slowly grow his money. Lamar was overwhelmed because things were already falling in place for him.
A New Leaf
After trying so long to change and end the struggle, finally he found a new path. He earned enough interest from his savings which gave him a second income source. He invested the rest of his money on a long investment that grew into his retirement fund. But there was something else Lamar wished to do.
Finally!!! Lamar began to pay alimony money and his relationship with Elisha and his children grew stronger. Surprisingly, Lamar began counselling the youth in his church so that others could learn from his life experience. Wow!!! It was really amazing when he donated $1000 of his lottery winnings to the church because he no longer needed it. He realized that the lessons he had learnt from his past experience was more valuable to him than the money he realized from his lottery win.